Going camping on Maui - the wilderness cabins in Haleakala crater
Maui is not really geared to the camping and backpacking crowd, like some other parts of the world, but there are a few places where you're welcome to camp. One of those places is inside the crater up at Haleakala National Park. That's the very top of the mountain over here! The park has 3 wilderness cabins which can be reserved in advance: Holua; Paliku; and Kapalaoa. Each one has it's own unique location and they are well separated, and can only be reached by footpath.
The cabins come equipped with the very basics, such as a wood stove, bunk beds with thin mattresses, water, outdoor toilets, a table and benches. They can sleep 12 people, and it's really quite cozy and fun. 2 of the cabins have camping areas outside, but the campers are instructed not to bother the people in the cabins.
It can be a strenuous hike due to the high altitude. While it seems easy hiking in because it's all downhill, when it's time to return it's uphill all the way. The parking lot is about 10,000 feet, and the cabins are around 7,000 feet in elevation... you can do the math. Hikers need be prepared with plenty of water, sunscreen, good shoes and a hat.
This week I'm going in with some friends, for a one night stay at Kapalaoa cabin. (Am I crazy?) I'll be back with some pictures of the cabin and surroundings. And probably very tired and hungry. Next stop... the Kula Lodge. If you don't hear from me by next weekend, send in the search party. I don't think there's cell phone service inside the crater! Yikes.
Aloha from Maui...